Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love (Transgressive)

January 30, 2012 by  

Pulled Apart By Horses (PABH) are back with their sophomore release ‘Tough Love’ to kick off the New Year in very, very hard way. After a hugely impressive debut album- which seemed to revitalise hardcore punk in 2010- and wowing crowds with their live shows and stage antics (described only in three words: blood, sweat and tears), the Leeds quartet are hoping the same one-two punch of hardcore rock and witty song titles in their second round will equal another thrilling knock-out.

For PABH it’s all about capturing the monstrous torrent of adrenaline from their live shows and incorporating it into ten or eleven songs on CD. This is what they did in their self-titled debut, and this is what they have successfully done here for ‘Tough Love’. The only difference is the construction of these songs; ‘Tough Love’ seems to have more of a sense of direction and structure, whereas the debut was more wild and unexpected. It had more of a sense of shock and surprise than this sophomore effort.

The unrelenting roaring guitar riffs are what make the band so special; they constantly pound throughout the album and sound a lot beefier than the first time around. This could be something to do with the difference in production, as Sum 41 and Foo Fighters producer Gil Norton lends his sound skills for this album. The tracks here sound as if they can be blasted out with the same velocity on stage as well as through speakers at home. Something the last album lacked.

With lead single ‘V.E.N.O.M,’ PABH capture that punk rock ferocity, mix it with some pop rock undertones and finish with a classic metal breakdown which lights a fire inside you if you like your music a little heavier. It’s a mosh pit of styles which for once doesn’t end in a mess… a method which the band use to make themselves one of the finest new rock bands in the U.K.

Lead Singer Tom Hudson’s distinctive growl still remains as impactful as ever, as his screams puncture the force field of noise made from his other band members’ instruments. You would think it would be impossible, but Hudson’s impressive vocals are just as powerful as the colossal guitars or the explosive drums. The lyrics are as slap stick as ever and don’t have to mean anything (“When I was a kid, I was a dick but nothing changes”) since you have no time to think about them when your brain is being rattled by PABH’s sound.

This is an album which might be too tough for some peoples’ ears, but deep down this is a scream out and a fist in the air to show the British punk rock scene won’t be trampled on by the more popular genres of dubstep and electro. It’s brash, loud, aggressive and full of heart, just like a revolution should sound.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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